Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all 250,000 enslaved people be freed, which came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Honoring Juneteenth is more complicated than just recognizing the emancipation of slaves in our country. It is a day that focuses on fighting racism here and abroad that prevents equity, creates disproportionate suffering, and harms Black adults and children across the globe.
It was the emancipation of the slaves in the US that allowed this country to turn the page from its most heinous past and chart a more prosperous future. Although it is a celebration, it also signifies our obligation to continue to be advocates for truth and freedom in our communities and throughout the world.
City Events for Juneteenth 2022
Hidden Figures Movie Night - Friday, June 17, at dusk (around 9 p.m.)
The City of Bowie will kick off the Juneteenth holiday with the screening of the movie "Hidden Figures" at Allen Pond Park. The movie honors the contributions of African American women in the field of astrophysics at NASA in the early 1960s. These women were known as "human computers" and were instrumental in the winning the space race and launching the first person into space.
As a review in The New Yorker stated:
The basic virtue of
Hidden Figures, and it's a formidable one, is to proclaim with a clarion vibrancy that, were it not for the devoted, unique, and indispensable efforts of three Black women scientists, the United States might not have successfully sent people into space or to the moon and back.
Bring food, a blanket or chairs to enjoy the movie and come early for a game of trivia. The movie will begin at dusk.
Learn more about African-Americans in science like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Sylvester Jakes, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Ronald McNair.
Juneteenth Jubilee - Saturday, June 18, from 2 - 3:30 p.m.
The Coalition of African Americans in the Performing Arts presents "The Road to Jubilee!: A Juneteenth Celebration" at the Amphitheater at Allen Pond Park. It is a musical extravaganza with singers, an African drummer, pianist, dancer and narrator that weaves history and hope. Hear poetry from local artists. This event is open to all ages; feel free to bring a blanket, chairs and food. There will be a raffle for giveaways.
Juneteenth Sunrise Walk + Workout - Sunday, June 19, 7 a.m.
The Diversity Committee is promoting health and wellness for Juneteenth! All are welcome to walk and work out at Centennial Park, which is located next to Bowie City Hall at 15901 Fred Robinson Way. Have fun, get healthy, and bring your water. Join us from 7 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Juneteenth Summer Concert Series - Sunday, June 19, 5 p.m.
Enjoy the reggae sounds of "Proverbs Band" as they kick off Bowie's Summer Concert Series at Allen Pond Park with a Juneteenth celebration. Enjoy food, marketplace vendors, and music at the Robert V. Setera Amphitheater at Allen Pond Park.
Allen Pond Park is located at 3330 Northview Drive, Bowie.
Black Heritage - Juneteenth - Prince George's County Memorial Library System (pgcmls.info) https://youtu.be/kJ_glcMeo3w (MNCPPC Juneteenth 2015)
Honoring Juneteenth Through Art in Galveston, Texas - The New York Times (nytimes.com) The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth | National Museum of African American History and Culture (si.edu)
Freedmen’s Bureau Transportation Records: Letters of “Sold” Former Slaves Seeking to Rejoin Loved Ones by Damani Davis, Reference Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. From Rediscovering Black History, the National Archives blog of the Black History Guide, sharing records relating to the Black Experience at the National Archives.
Video: Genealogy and the “Freedman’s Bank:” Records of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company by Damani Davis, Reference Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Handout online.
The Freedmen’s Bureau Preservation Project, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington, Prologue Magazine
Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony, Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington, Prologue Magazine
National Archives Safeguards Original ‘Juneteenth’ General Order, National Archives News
Video: Let No Man Put Asunder: Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records, by (retired) archivist Reginald Washington
Online resources: African American History National Archives News special topics page
Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction of Black Families, Rediscovering Black History, by Bob Nowatzki, Archives Technician, National Archives in College Park, MD.
The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research, by Reginald Washington, Prologue